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  1. #1
    BPnet Lifer sho220's Avatar
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    Looking for Info on Costa Rica

    I don't see a Central America sub-forum, so I'll just drop this here...

    I'm looking for any first-hand experience with Costa Rica. Are you from there? Did you previously live there? Did you vacation there? Do you have relatives living there?

    What I'm looking for is just info on day-to-day living in Costa Rica. I've been reading up on it a lot lately, but wanted to see if I could get the perspective of any members here.

    Thanks!
    Lucifer Sam, Siam cat...
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  2. #2
    BPnet Senior Member KMG's Avatar
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    I took a vacation there. Vistited Liberia and it was a great place. I stayed at a resort but did take a few excursions into the country side. It was very clean and though it is not a rich place it seemed the people took much more pride in where they lived then some countries I have been. The people were also very friendly and the ones that were selling things both on the beach and in town were not pushy and very respectful. They took time to talk to you about the country and understood no when you were not interested in buying anything. I also never felt like I was in danger and they have a fair amount of law enforcement floating around. I have been to some places where you see many people that are obviously up to no good. Around Liberia I didn't see any of that sort. Everybody seemed to be en route to work or school. It was a really great trip even though a saw a tornado while riding a mule, was in a 6.8 earthquake at the resort, and the volcano was shooting lava and gas the day I left. It was a great week and I would go back.
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    sho220 (07-02-2013)

  4. #3
    BPnet Lifer sho220's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Info on Costa Rica

    Quote Originally Posted by KMG View Post
    I took a vacation there. Vistited Liberia and it was a great place. I stayed at a resort but did take a few excursions into the country side. It was very clean and though it is not a rich place it seemed the people took much more pride in where they lived then some countries I have been. The people were also very friendly and the ones that were selling things both on the beach and in town were not pushy and very respectful. They took time to talk to you about the country and understood no when you were not interested in buying anything. I also never felt like I was in danger and they have a fair amount of law enforcement floating around. I have been to some places where you see many people that are obviously up to no good. Around Liberia I didn't see any of that sort. Everybody seemed to be en route to work or school. It was a really great trip even though a saw a tornado while riding a mule, was in a 6.8 earthquake at the resort, and the volcano was shooting lava and gas the day I left. It was a great week and I would go back.
    Sounds like a fun trip.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I've been doing a lot of research on Costa Rica, but it's hard to tell if websites are giving you the straight dope, or just a sales pitch.
    Lucifer Sam, Siam cat...
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  5. #4
    BPnet Senior Member KMG's Avatar
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    Check out the departure tax. Many people forget about it. We paid when we left but I don't remember how much it was or how we paid.

    I went river rafting and zip lining through the jungle over canyons carved by a river. It was fun. The beaches were also just as nice as the pictures. Did snorkeling a short distance from my resort and saw plenty of wildlife, including hump back whales a few hundred yards away breaching.

    They also haggle like most places. Just a tip if you want some Cuban cigars. The people are also very trusting and were trying to give me cigars when I had no cash and told me to pay them later. It blew my mind. They also gifted me three cigars "Cuban Cohibas" while I was on the beach after showing interest in buying them.
    KMG

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  7. #5
    BPnet Veteran satomi325's Avatar
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    I did a vet trip there to spay and neuter the under served community/street dogs and cats. We also did physical exams and vaccines in addition to the surgeries. Also did some large animal (horses/cattle/goat/pig) stuff.

    I spent more time with the animals than the locals. The dogs were all friendly and chill. All the cats were devils and every single one of them tried to kill us. No joke. The pet owners did seem really happy to see us. The locals cooked up meals to serve during our lunch break at the various clinic locations. They were very hospitable and appreciative.
    While they probably don't know much about animal care, they did love their animals very much. They made it seem we saved their pets' lives or something. Even when some didn't speak English, they would try to convey their thanks. It was humbling.

    We were mentored by a team of 4 local vets and 2 guides. They were so awesome, knowledgeable, and fun. They really did make a huge difference in the trip being enjoying. They were very accommodating and patient.

    The cows were super cute. They were all Brahmans (the kind with the hump and big floppy ears). And I have to say that the horses were some of the ugliest horses I've ever seen. 100% mutt horses.


    The countryside and landscape were very beautiful. Green everywhere. However, we went during the rainy season (June), so it was very humid with a lot of thunderstorms. The country ranches were lovely. The cities were really....run down?? I'm not really sure how to describe it. Poor, but not unexpected.

    The wildlife was vast and amazing. It was so awesome to see wild toucans flying over head, armadillos wandering about, and monkeys swinging from the jungle trees. Geckos were out crawling on walls every night. Anoles and toads were everywhere as well (only saw 1 dart frog). The bugs were horrible though. So insect repellent is a MUST HAVE! The mosquitoes would eat you up alive without any. The spiders were frightening large. I don't know the species, but we ran into a giant black and yellow one that was as large as my hand. But I do admit seeing leaf cutter ants hauling leaves was really cool! Either way, Night time = bug time. Tons of insects. (windows may or may not stop them from coming into your room ;p)
    And dolphins on the sea side.

    My friends and i were catching toads and anoles constantly. On the later portion of the trip, half the team got sick. Suspected food poisoning. I got sick as well. We were all shuttled to a small hospital clinic and put on an IV drip. And for some reason, the doctors diagnosed me to have been poisoned by the toad??? It was really bizarre.

    The food was tasty. Fresh fruit everywhere. The culture was interesting. Country life was totally different from the city. The city had fancy malls and even Wal-Mart. The country were all traditional ranchers with livestock.
    The people were kind and happy.

    We stayed at a few locations. Hotel Sanchiri in Cartago had a very beautiful view from their rooms. It basically overlooked a valley and a small river. Sun Sun Lodge in Sarapiqui was where we saw the most wildlife: snakes, amphibians, geckos, anoles, tons of birds, monkeys. Another place was Earth University in Limon. I don't recall much here because we all got sick. heh...... Spent a lot of time puking.
    However, the day before getting sick, we all went to a Wildlife Rehab Center: Eco Paradero. Also in Limon. It was very interesting. They were a very small rescue, but the animals were neat and well kept. Had sloths we could play with. A verity of primates, mammals, and parrots/birds. A weasel that looked like a miniature honey badger was my absolute favorite animal there! he was just like a dog and wanted to hang out.
    Watch out for the apes. One little monkey pulled down a team member's strapless dress top and grabbed her tatas. Naughty Naughty.

    Costa Rica has iffy plumping. So theres a rule to throw your toilet paper away in the trash can and not flush them down the toilet. My roommate forgot and ruined the toilet. Several toilets were backed up throughout the trip. >_<
    (I suggest you bring a roll of toilet paper)

    Also did some misc. snorkeling, river rafting, beach stuff (found a sea cucumber and it freaked the heck out of me).

    Overall, really awesome place to go.

    Pura Vida!
    Last edited by satomi325; 07-02-2013 at 06:44 AM.

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    sho220 (07-02-2013)

  9. #6
    BPnet Lifer sho220's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Info on Costa Rica

    Quote Originally Posted by satomi325 View Post
    I did a vet trip there to spay and neuter the under served community/street dogs and cats. We also did physical exams and vaccines in addition to the surgeries. Also did some large animal (horses/cattle/goat/pig) stuff.

    I spent more time with the animals than the locals. The dogs were all friendly and chill. All the cats were devils and every single one of them tried to kill us. No joke. The pet owners did seem really happy to see us. The locals cooked up meals to serve during our lunch break at the various clinic locations. They were very hospitable and appreciative.
    While they probably don't know much about animal care, they did love their animals very much. They made it seem we saved their pets' lives or something. Even when some didn't speak English, they would try to convey their thanks. It was humbling.

    We were mentored by a team of 4 local vets and 2 guides. They were so awesome, knowledgeable, and fun. They really did make a huge difference in the trip being enjoying. They were very accommodating and patient.

    The cows were super cute. They were all Brahmans (the kind with the hump and big floppy ears). And I have to say that the horses were some of the ugliest horses I've ever seen. 100% mutt horses.


    The countryside and landscape were very beautiful. Green everywhere. However, we went during the rainy season (June), so it was very humid with a lot of thunderstorms. The country ranches were lovely. The cities were really....run down?? I'm not really sure how to describe it. Poor, but not unexpected.

    The wildlife was vast and amazing. It was so awesome to see wild toucans flying over head, armadillos wandering about, and monkeys swinging from the jungle trees. Geckos were out crawling on walls every night. Anoles and toads were everywhere as well (only saw 1 dart frog). The bugs were horrible though. So insect repellent is a MUST HAVE! The mosquitoes would eat you up alive without any. The spiders were frightening large. I don't know the species, but we ran into a giant black and yellow one that was as large as my hand. But I do admit seeing leaf cutter ants hauling leaves was really cool! Either way, Night time = bug time. Tons of insects. (windows may or may not stop them from coming into your room ;p)
    And dolphins on the sea side.

    My friends and i were catching toads and anoles constantly. On the later portion of the trip, half the team got sick. Suspected food poisoning. I got sick as well. We were all shuttled to a small hospital clinic and put on an IV drip. And for some reason, the doctors diagnosed me to have been poisoned by the toad??? It was really bizarre.

    The food was tasty. Fresh fruit everywhere. The culture was interesting. Country life was totally different from the city. The city had fancy malls and even Wal-Mart. The country were all traditional ranchers with livestock.
    The people were kind and happy.

    We stayed at a few locations. Hotel Sanchiri in Cartago had a very beautiful view from their rooms. It basically overlooked a valley and a small river. Sun Sun Lodge in Sarapiqui was where we saw the most wildlife: snakes, amphibians, geckos, anoles, tons of birds, monkeys. Another place was Earth University in Limon. I don't recall much here because we all got sick. heh...... Spent a lot of time puking.
    However, the day before getting sick, we all went to a Wildlife Rehab Center: Eco Paradero. Also in Limon. It was very interesting. They were a very small rescue, but the animals were neat and well kept. Had sloths we could play with. A verity of primates, mammals, and parrots/birds. A weasel that looked like a miniature honey badger was my absolute favorite animal there! he was just like a dog and wanted to hang out.
    Watch out for the apes. One little monkey pulled down a team member's strapless dress top and grabbed her tatas. Naughty Naughty.

    Costa Rica has iffy plumping. So theres a rule to throw your toilet paper away in the trash can and not flush them down the toilet. My roommate forgot and ruined the toilet. Several toilets were backed up throughout the trip. >_<
    (I suggest you bring a roll of toilet paper)

    Also did some misc. snorkeling, river rafting, beach stuff (found a sea cucumber and it freaked the heck out of me).

    Overall, really awesome place to go.

    Pura Vida!
    Thanks for all the great info. Appreciate it! And I'd probably need more than one roll as I'd be purchasing a one-way ticket!
    Lucifer Sam, Siam cat...
    Always sitting by your side,
    Always by your side...
    That cat's something I can't explain...

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to sho220 For This Useful Post:

    satomi325 (07-02-2013)

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